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The Dommo
03-17-2009, 12:05 PM
Some impressive tech. Wonder if Core will get this sorta thing...
http://www.sidefx.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1464&Itemid=316

3DGFXStudios
03-17-2009, 01:07 PM
I hope so!!! Look really cool!

lwanmtr
03-17-2009, 03:21 PM
Hopefully Core will have alot of neat toys like this..only with a user friendly interface.

prometheus
03-17-2009, 04:22 PM
Thats the way, Ive been expressing some kind of upres technique for some time now for Lightwave.
something to calculate the particle simulation in a lower cluster with thousands of particles and turning it to several millions or billions of particles at another cluster generation after simulation. or adding hypervoxels in sprite and volume mode at rendertime to creative massive particle amounts, maybe something similar to that of krakatoa.

houdini is certainly gaining more and more of my interest.

Michael

Red_Oddity
03-17-2009, 05:03 PM
Thats the way, Ive been expressing some kind of upres technique for some time now for Lightwave.
something to calculate the particle simulation in a lower cluster with thousands of particles and turning it to several millions or billions of particles at another cluster generation after simulation. or adding hypervoxels in sprite and volume mode at rendertime to creative massive particle amounts, maybe something similar to that of krakatoa.

houdini is certainly gaining more and more of my interest.

Michael

Looks like a wavelet turbulence fluid sim, not unlike this : http://www.cs.cornell.edu/~tedkim/WTURB/

We use a similar technique in Maya by using the velocity field to drive a turbulence on a low res fluid sim.
So should LW get a fluid sim engine, and give access to the grid and fields this is very doable.

jin choung
03-17-2009, 06:56 PM
yup,

houdini is and has always been impressive.

maya got a robust fluids sim a while back and even the free front is getting in on the act:

http://www.blendernation.com/2008/08/26/realistic-smoke-in-blender/

not terribly new tech but core will have this kind of peripheral stuff later on in development if ever.

jin

calilifestyle
03-17-2009, 08:59 PM
Yeah i have Houdini HD and i was really enjoying their rigging tools. But then i stop using it when i figured that i would never be able to afford that kind of software. kind felt it was wast of time at that point hehe.

Snosrap
03-17-2009, 09:16 PM
Holy smokes Batman, you see the price on that thing!

calilifestyle
03-17-2009, 09:33 PM
Holy smokes Batman, you see the price on that thing!

Yup. it for studios, Big ones. you could rent it.

realgray
03-17-2009, 09:41 PM
just imagine if they dropped the price to the same level as XSI/Maya. That battle for domination would be fun to watch. I'm impressed that they offer 64 bit on the Mac

Red_Oddity
03-18-2009, 03:34 PM
Actually, over here, Houdini is cheaper than Maya Unlimited(since that's the one that has fluids).
Houdini Master is 7995 euros
Maya Unlimited is 8695 euros

Still a very hefty sum (one that cost me an arm and leg, and does cost me and arm and a leg every year just on the subscription fees)

mattclary
03-18-2009, 05:10 PM
yup,

even the free front is getting in on the act:



Following that link, eventually stumbled on this and found it oddly symbolic of the Blender interface...


http://www.blendernation.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/copertina1jpg.jpeg

jin choung
03-18-2009, 09:56 PM
Following that link, eventually stumbled on this and found it oddly symbolic of the Blender interface...


http://www.blendernation.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/copertina1jpg.jpeg

haha...

yeah. hopefully 2.5 will make things customizable enough to be palatable to the masses.

jin

Intuition
03-19-2009, 12:25 AM
I've just now barely started to learn houdini after a year+ of putting it off.

I think the idea is that you're supposed to buy the 99$ version to learn it and leave the $8000 purchase to the studios that hire you to pilot it.

DD has around 5-7 Houdini artists and they are never out of work and they are always trying to get good houdini people in there. I guess a good houdini artist is hard to find.

I have been waiting on assets for the next project so I am opening up Houdini lately and have been doing some tutorials.

The last project I was on was a car commercial where I did the car and landscapes/skies in max for rendering in Vray and the houdini artists made these wicked light trails and vox FX which were then MDD'd into max for a separate light pass on the car using the vray light material. The real houdini fx were comped in over the vray rendered passes (car and MDD'd lit car).

The overall effect was really unique in that Houdini was making something only Houdini could really do very well and quickly and then lighting the car with the animated objects.

Red_Oddity
03-19-2009, 03:17 AM
Been messing with the PLE version, just to get an idea of what is possible, and boy, there's a lot possible.

The Dommo
03-19-2009, 10:11 AM
hell yes.

Matt
03-19-2009, 10:19 AM
Powerful, but far too complex for little old me.

If Core ends up being a clone of that, it'll be bye bye from me then.

LightWave always followed the philosophy of "powerful tools, just like the bigs boys, but cheaper, and easier to use".

It's what made LightWave successful, the day NT move away from that, that's the day they lose what made them unique.

AbnRanger
03-19-2009, 10:46 AM
If Newtek plays their card right, they could use CORE to break in on the high-end VFX market....with both FPrime and TrueArt's IPR slated to show live voxel/volumetric updates, that would be an industry first.
Let's hope the new architecture gives them the ability to replace Hypervoxels with something really shiny

Matt
03-19-2009, 11:14 AM
Actually, that's one thing we don't know - what market IS Core aiming for?

Expansion of the current one?

More "high-end" studios?

Hobbyists? (Doubt that one)

All of the above?

mattclary
03-20-2009, 09:08 AM
It's what made LightWave successful, the day NT move away from that, that's the day they lose what made them unique.

Definitely. My worst fear is that CORE will be a lot more complex than LightWave Classic.

Rod Seffen
03-20-2009, 09:48 AM
You really need to have the mind of a coder to use houdini effectively, not an artist's brain.
It is possible to make software that is both powerful and intuitive, but it's easier not to and make the end user do all the work. Having said that, it is obviously aimed at the high end pro studio market where you'd expect people with all required skills to be employed. You can tell by the pricing they're not interested in lesser mortals using it.

Matt
03-20-2009, 09:54 AM
You really need to have the mind of a coder to use houdini effectively, not an artist's brain.
It is possible to make software that is both powerful and intuitive, but it's easier not to and make the end user do all the work. Having said that, it is obviously aimed at the high end pro studio market where you'd expect people with all required skills to be employed. You can tell by the pricing they're not interested in lesser mortals using it.

Exactly right Rod.

AbnRanger
03-20-2009, 07:13 PM
You really need to have the mind of a coder to use houdini effectively, not an artist's brain.
It is possible to make software that is both powerful and intuitive, but it's easier not to and make the end user do all the work. Having said that, it is obviously aimed at the high end pro studio market where you'd expect people with all required skills to be employed. You can tell by the pricing they're not interested in lesser mortals using it.That's quite true, but the thing is, when a software developer makes tools that are easy to use, it's funny how many artists don't want it cause it's not flexible enough...it doesn't give them all the control they want. Then guys like yourself catch them from the other flank with the "I'm an artist, not a programmer" perspective. It's damned if you DO, and damned if you DON'T!

Captain Obvious
03-20-2009, 08:45 PM
Hopefully Core will have alot of neat toys like this..only with a user friendly interface.
Houdini's user interface is incredibly well-designed. The thing that makes Houdini difficult is not the UI, it's the fact that you have to be quite clever in order to take full advantage of what it can do. It's not that the UI is bad, it's that it does things that are difficult. This is a crucial distinction, because it means that any other application and any other UI could easily find itself being "difficult to use" for the same reasons and in the same scenarios as Houdini.




I'm impressed that they offer 64 bit on the Mac
It's worth mentioning that they ONLY offer 64-bit on the Mac. There is no 32-bit Mac version. There is no PowerPC Mac version. It runs on Mac OS 10.5 on 64-bit Intel machines only, and nothing else.




You really need to have the mind of a coder to use houdini effectively, not an artist's brain.
I don't necessarily think there's much of a difference.



It is possible to make software that is both powerful and intuitive
Depends on what you mean by "intuitive" and "powerful," really. The kind of generality you get from a toolset like Houdini's (or even, to a lesser extent, modo) is, by the very nature of how it works, complicated. If it wasn't complicated, it would be limited instead. That's how it works.



When it comes to complexity vs "ease of use," just look at the node system. I do some pretty weird stuff in the Lightwave shading node system. Some of it is difficult to do, but it's not difficult because of the crappy user interface of the node editor; it's difficult because it's a complicated thing that requires a lot of thought. When you're working in that way, you can't just try random blending modes until you get the desired effect. You need to know what the functions do, and you need to know what you're doing before you're doing it. Having a slick UI doesn't change that — it just makes it easier to swap one node for another (something Lightwave doesn't do, by the way).

Rod Seffen
03-21-2009, 10:23 AM
There are no artists who'd want to create their art by typing equations in a machine.
People who like coding and maths on the other hand would love that.
It's an exaggeration, but it's the same point being proved.

Glendalough
03-21-2009, 10:30 AM
It's worth mentioning that they ONLY offer 64-bit on the Mac. There is no 32-bit Mac version. There is no PowerPC Mac version. It runs on Mac OS 10.5 on 64-bit Intel machines only, and nothing else.


I've found Houdini good fun on the Macintosh, and happy to be able to finally use a 64 bit application. There are some great tutorials on the H site and one in particular, an introduction, makes the learning very easy. Also the forum is really good, and some of the actual developers will post and answer questions, so one can just about work out anything that is possible in the program.

I feel less enthusiastic about node systems in the way they are described and taught in the manuals of any program. There should be some chart or system of explaining the method in which they can be successfully connected, i.e. there must be some way to teach them that has alluded everyone so far. That being said, I have found the node system in Houdini the easiest to understand, especially when certain aspects of them are explained, this being the reason, next to the second best name in the industry (IMHO), for learning it.

About the price, it's a bit like Blender, in that, forget about it and learn the program, you will really have something if this is achieved.

Netvudu
03-21-2009, 10:46 AM
Been into Houdini now for about 3 years. Last 6 months in feature production. This thing is sweet. (BTW, we also use LW).
Iīm trying the beta for 10 and itīs very cool, but itīs not common in Houdini to have "wow" new versions because of the daily build policy. They also boast now a stereoscopic camera that works in OpenGL just like in Maya. Will come in handy.

Captain Obvious
03-21-2009, 03:38 PM
There are no artists who'd want to create their art by typing equations in a machine.
People who like coding and maths on the other hand would love that.
It's an exaggeration, but it's the same point being proved.
That hardly constitutes proof. You claim that there are no artists who would want to create their art by equations. This is not the case. I have created things that could arguably be called art by "typing in equations in a machine."

I do like coding, and I do like maths, but that hardly means I no longer qualify as an artist, and I generally find that my aptitude for mathematics and logic help me in my artistic work as well as my technical work.

So no, your point is not being proven.

jin choung
03-21-2009, 11:15 PM
some of the statements regarding simplicity are ludicrous.

some feel that lw is good and simple and not rocket science. wanna bet there are legions of traditional fine artists that would disagree with you?

everything is either too simple or too complicated for somebody. it's on a gradient and what you prefer is not at all what is "best". it is merely what you prefer.

and hopefully, there is something that you fit with in the marketplace.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

everything should be as simple as possible and no simpler.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
if you want to use maya or houdini like lw, you can do virtually everything that lw can do with the UI.

but if you want to DO MORE - if you want to describe tremendously complex effects and want a great degree of control... well, if the phenomenon is complex, it will likely require a complex interface.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

cgi is SHOCKINGLY not about math for the end user, even though our computers are doing matrix math constantly just under the hood. even in houdini, it is not about math.

but it is TECHNICAL. to rail against the technical aspects is like an architect b1tching that he has to learn things about materials and loads when he'd rather just make neat looking buildings. or a cinematographer who moans and groans about knowing things about different film responses and fstops and lattitude and focal lengths etc....

our art and craft IS, INELUCTABLY TECHNICAL. if you don't like it, it is EXTREMELY limiting.

the best cg artists (like architects and movie makers) are those who can embrace the artistic as well as the technical aspects.

and this requires no hyperbolic degree of uberhuman aptitude... it just requires openness to it and a willingness to try and learn.

jin

Netvudu
03-22-2009, 08:33 AM
Craig Zerouni http://gnomonology.com/inst/35 whoīs been in this industry forever it seems, had a really interesting article regarding this very topic on one of his monthly columns at 3dWorld.

He discussed this problem of many young CG artists not wanting to know whatīs going "under the hood" so to speak, and not wanting to get their hands wet with any technical details, and how this could be problematic and a limiting factor.
I couldīt agree more with his views.
An artist has to master the tools.
Many great artists in history of paintings developed their own materials for colors and tints, and decided to go the extra mile instead of just buying the things already prepared and this proved to be a good decision as it ended up being part of the mystery of their creations.
I donīt see why this should be different a few centuries later....creation is creation.

prometheus
03-23-2009, 01:29 PM
Well...I agree to some extend about its good to learn the tools, however I would state that maybe there is a big difference in technology of artistic tools in the past compared to present and future.

I believe that a learning curve or teaching of new tools in traditional art such as learning to paint watercolour, oil, gouache,air brushing,and using different kind of brushes papers is at a different level than picking up new software..all this with the Time aspect in mind.

I believe that a transition between oil, gouache and watercolours will probably be less time consuming as to that of learning airbrushing.

some artistic tools or crafts are way much more direct responsive to your
vision and your dreams wich allows yourself to be more creative and productive artisticly.

If you think about it, it takes quite some time to learn 3d tools and to get creative stuff out of it, a paper and a pen or some clay in my hands and off I go.

I wouldnīt start programming trying to be as creative as I can be..thereīs way to much time to waste on learning that and then do the actual programming.

So I would say thereīs a big difference in old ways of learning new painting techniques and the modern worlds software technology era.

Michael

Netvudu
03-24-2009, 06:31 AM
Technology has changed but itīs been proportional to the change of tools. If you compare a canvas to a computer, itīs pretty obvious the huge change in complexity of the medium, yet I donīt see anybody complaining about how hugely impossible working on Windows/Mac is.
Asking a proportional effort from the artist to properly learn te foundation of his tools doesnīt sound so tough to me.

Rod Seffen
03-24-2009, 07:25 AM
That hardly constitutes proof. You claim that there are no artists who would want to create their art by equations. This is not the case. I have created things that could arguably be called art by "typing in equations in a machine."


Let me see them then.
The sort of people who use houdini in a hardcore way for technical effects are not artists anyway. I'm sure there's some artistic interpretation involved in some of their tasks, but in large part it's a technical job, and there's an art director telling them what result he wants. They just type whatever numbers into whatever node networks to get there.

Lightwolf
03-24-2009, 08:23 AM
The sort of people who use houdini in a hardcore way for technical effects are not artists anyway.
The problem is... once you start to argue like that then you might as well say that 99% of all cg "operators" aren't artists to start with.

Which is fine.

Cheers,
Mike

SBowie
03-24-2009, 09:07 AM
It's an old argument, and there is some merit to both sides. Still, setting aside "dreams", I can't think of an art form that requires no technical ability whatsoever. At the same time, clearly tools don't make an artist, or art.

Is there a crossover point where art becomes simply procedure? Probably, but I don't think it is related to how much technical knowledge must be applied to obtain the result. Some elevate architecture to an art form, whereas others reduce oil painting to something less than art. Music is generally accepted as art, but there are all manner of technical aspects in even its most rudimentary forms.

I've scant sympathy for 'artists' who complain about having to learn the tools and techniques related to their art form. Brilliant artists throughout history have advanced both art and science in pursuit of their visions. At the same time, it is obviously desirable to pursue tool designs that empower the artist without complexity that impedes the creative process unnecessarily.

bobakabob
03-24-2009, 09:40 AM
Good debate :)

Artists can use a 1001 tools to creating their masterpiece whether brushes or pushing buttons but the end result is all that matters.

Is it original? Insightful and new? Thought provoking? Shocking or surprising?

The last thing the audience care about are the tools. Or for that matter, the artist.

3dworks
03-24-2009, 10:23 AM
...
It's worth mentioning that they ONLY offer 64-bit on the Mac. There is no 32-bit Mac version. There is no PowerPC Mac version. It runs on Mac OS 10.5 on 64-bit Intel machines only, and nothing else.
...

in OSX, afaik, all 64 bit applications are also 32 bit capable. you control it by a checkbox in the file info dialog. this simply means that on macs, you never have separate 32/64 bit versions to install. it's just 32 bit or 64 + 32 bit together. btw. the current version of houdini already runs osx 64 bit.

bryguy2
03-24-2009, 10:26 AM
Traditional artists are very quick to throw art into one category. I got into this on spinquad with someone trying tell a newcomer not to get into 3d if he wasnt a good traditional artist. The funny thing was this the guy was a traditional artist and his 3d was crap! So there was no correlation for him...


Art is something different for everyone... programers are artists mathematicians are artists. To me art is any skill that is continually refined out of passion.

Just my opinion. I know many will have a different perspective on it!

Lightwolf
03-24-2009, 10:26 AM
in OSX, afaik, all 64 bit applications are also 32 bit capable.
They can be... but it's not necessarily the case. Just as a UB may only contain binaries for a single platform.
It's up to the developer which platforms are actually compiled into the single UB.

Cheers
Mike

SBowie
03-24-2009, 10:36 AM
To me art is any skill that is continually refined out of passion.Interesting definition. I've seen engines and even weapons that I considered works of art, so I think you're right that a narrow definition would be wrong.

bryguy2
03-24-2009, 10:42 AM
"I've seen engines and even weapons that I considered works of art"

Absolutely...

*Pete*
03-24-2009, 10:51 AM
I agree SBowie...

some buildings are works of art even if their appearance is not...it is how well designed it is for the intented purpose, some would call the sound of a harley davidson art too...and you should not be suprised over the fact that engineers actually DO their best to create that sound...it is not accidental.

art can have so many forms...but if you are good and respected artist with one medium, it means nothing when you try something different...
some of the best 3d artists cant sketch s*it on paper and pen, some of the best sculptors cant create anything out of ZBrush.

Art is to get your inner mental image out so that you can show it to others...

how you do it is up to you...if you cant do it, that inner mental image is stuck inside you and you are no artist.

the Harley Davidson engineers finetune the sound into perfection, this makes them artists.
3D people use their technical applications to get out their inner mental images for others to view,,,if succesfull, they are artists.

an architect who designs a house that looks so so but is cleverly built, low energy usage, recycling, natural ligthing and excellent living conditions is an artists just as well...

i do not think that all skills are translatable from one medium to another, either way you will have to learn the tools and techniques so that you can present your art.

Rod Seffen
03-24-2009, 11:23 AM
Art is something different for everyone... programers are artists mathematicians are artists. To me art is any skill that is continually refined out of passion.

Just my opinion. I know many will have a different perspective on it!

It's not your opinion, it is a secondary definition of the word 'art' when it's used in the sense of 'the art of war' or 'the art of *insert any activity here*', but we are clearly talking about the visual arts here.

Rod Seffen
03-24-2009, 11:30 AM
The problem is... once you start to argue like that then you might as well say that 99% of all cg "operators" aren't artists to start with.

Which is fine.

Cheers,
Mike

My point is that houdini is primarily a studio tool, and obviously a team of people will be involved in any project. There will be an art director, concept artists etc involved on the artistic side, and technical guys involved in scripting and building node networks in houdini etc.
You can call them all artists if you like, but I don't know why everyone feels the need to be called an artist. I've the same respect for technical excellence as for artistic excellence.

Captain Obvious
03-24-2009, 11:42 AM
Let me see them then.
Oh god no -- it's all rubbish! But rubbish can, obviously, still be classified as art. Even the crappy stuff you do when you're a child qualifies as art, which was the case here.



I'm sure there's some artistic interpretation involved in some of their tasks, but in large part it's a technical job, and there's an art director telling them what result he wants. They just type whatever numbers into whatever node networks to get there.
How is it "artistic" to move vertices around manually to get a desired result, and not "artistic" to construct a procedural method to achieve the same thing?

Additionally, even concept artists are just working on the AD's instructions, and surely you would not claim that a concept artist is not an artist! And even in the stages after concept art, you usually have to artistically reinterpret the concepts into a different medium. You're effectively doing a remake, regardless of which stage in the pipeline you're at.



in OSX, afaik, all 64 bit applications are also 32 bit capable
Nope. If it was compiled for 64-bit only, it will not run on 32-bit systems at all.

Mike_RB
03-24-2009, 12:00 PM
zbrush, lightwave, and houdini are identical twins when it comes to 'complexity' or 'non artist tools' if you're comparing them to real paint brushes and pencils, or a real camera. Photoshop is somewhere in between. Your splitting hairs when you call LW 'artist friendly' and Houdini 'programmer-like'.

Rod Seffen
03-24-2009, 12:13 PM
This is all semantics.
My definition of an artist is someone who's trying to convey some kind of message through the medium of art.
I see art as a terrible medium though which to convey messages. Words do a much better job.
I'd class myself as an artisan. I like the idea of art for the sake of art. No hidden meaning.

coreguy
03-24-2009, 12:15 PM
zbrush, lightwave, and houdini are identical twins when it comes to 'complexity' or 'non artist tools' if you're comparing them to real paint brushes and pencils, or a real camera. Photoshop is somewhere in between. Your splitting hairs when you call LW 'artist friendly' and Houdini 'programmer-like'.


I think part of that comes from the fact that some users only use 1 part of LW, and they completely forget that there is many tools that dont pertain to modeling or rendering... that they never use.

Mike_RB
03-24-2009, 12:17 PM
Right, so as a LW artist on IronMan, I was trying to convey the Directors message. The lighting was done to match a live plate, as was the surfacing and animation of the Suit. So, LW was used to convey the directors message just as much as houdini would have, if we used it instead of LW.

Netvudu
03-24-2009, 12:31 PM
Exactly. The real problem IMHO is that some people when confronted with something technically demanding, find way easier to just say "bah, Iīm an artist/artisan" than taking the position of learning that stuff. Since when being an artist allows not to solve incoming problems because oneīs not "the technical type".
I concur with Captain Obvious (bad nickname in this case! ;D) when he states that pulling vertices can be as much/less "artistic" as writing an expression depending on the context.


This is all semantics...

I'd class myself as an artisan. I like the idea of art for the sake of art. No hidden meaning.

I like the idea of intelligent people discussing topics in two-ways, and admiting when their points has been proven not valid. I donīt like the idea of people that try to bend conversations not to show they were wrong...artisans or not.

jin choung
03-24-2009, 12:34 PM
I see art as a terrible medium though which to convey messages. Words do a much better job.

wtf? so literature is not art? poetry is not art? music is not art? architecture is not art? dance and drama are not art?

you have a problematic definition of art. you are taking a SUBSET of art and making it the complete domain.

jin

cresshead
03-24-2009, 12:41 PM
some people who talk about "art" have missed off a letter for the word they 'think' they know all about it...the letter is 'f' and gives a clue to where they are talking from!

i like scribbling btw!

Lightwolf
03-24-2009, 12:53 PM
My definition of an artist is someone who's trying to convey some kind of message through the medium of art.
That's yours though... and mine as well (almost, I'm even more strict). I'm afraid it's not generally accepted in the community though.
Some of your points puzzle me though:

There are no artists who'd want to create their art by typing equations in a machine.
Of course there are. If it's their medium of choice to convey their artistic message. As can be any other medium.
However:

The sort of people who use houdini in a hardcore way for technical effects are not artists anyway.
As Mike noted, there's no point in singleing out Houdini here. If 99% of cg "operators" aren't artists, then their app of choice makes little difference. As does their knowledge of the technicalities. To the contrary, I would expect a certain kind of knowledge by anybody calling themselves a professional cg operator (just to leave the artist label out for a minute, you may substitute with artisan though). It's a part of the job.
And it doesn't make a difference if that person focuses on vfx, rendering, animation, modelling or sculpting. It's all the same in that sense (except for the poor buggers that have to do everything by themselves).

Cheers,
Mike

jasonwestmas
03-24-2009, 12:53 PM
There are "Equations" to be figured out which Houdini seems to be heavy on that need precise knowledge and little intuition. A program like ZBrush or LW modeler lends a hand to "Intuitive" Work Processes. Intuitive meaning eyeballing your deformations based on the imagination or transferring a visual concept from one medium to another (2D to 3D).The two concepts of "Equation" verses "Intuition" always seem to overlap however, meaning that an intuitive artist still has to figure out some kind of plan for his modeling which is in fact an equation without precise math in many cases. If we are talking about industrial or architectural design, that would be a modeling process more heavy in the area of an "Equation" solver unto construction in all precision, but this does not happen before an intuitive and creative thought process supplies both function and aesthetic principles. (However, the principles for aesthetics are being bent and possibly broken all the time). Like I said, transferring an aesthetic principle to a medium under a subjective context is an act of intuitive thought processes. A TA doing the rigging in Houdini doesn't have to worry about that "Level" of intutition as much, Nor does a TA who is setting up dynamic collisions, but that doesn't mean that intuition is not at play in Houdini while doing these kinds of operations. However, sculpting in Zbrush while observing a subject requires a much higher degree of intuition than rigging while rigging requires more precise entries into the computer in order to work for the production.

Lightwolf
03-24-2009, 12:55 PM
wtf? so literature is not art? poetry is not art? music is not art? architecture is not art? dance and drama are not art?

you have a problematic definition of art. you are taking a SUBSET of art and making it the complete domain.

No, not at all. He doesn't define it by medium but by the message (if I got that right). And that may well be emotional only.
A building that makes you smile, a poem that makes you cry, a painting that makes you think.

Cheers
Mike

jasonwestmas
03-24-2009, 01:05 PM
Oh and lets not foget voxel sculpting, before we had to enter in numerical equations to use this kind of tech. Some things just work better.

Captain Obvious
03-24-2009, 01:25 PM
My definition of an artist is someone who's trying to convey some kind of message through the medium of art.
What does "the medium of art" actually mean, then? Anything creative? In that case, a game's programmer is as much an artist as the ones who make the graphics for said game.

Also, I would like to mention that I eyeball things inside complex node systems all the time, whether I'm comping or building shaders. How is eyeballing with the tablet when you're sculpting some vertices different from "eyeballing" a series of nodes in a shader tree?

jin choung
03-24-2009, 01:26 PM
He doesn't define it by medium but by the message (if I got that right).

there's a discrepancy between what you're saying and what he's saying:


I see art as a terrible medium though which to convey messages. Words do a much better job.

he IS defining art by medium. note his contrast between what "art" does not do well vs. "words" which do.

jin

SBowie
03-24-2009, 01:53 PM
I doubt there can be a simple definition that really covers it all - too many dimensions to the subject...

For example, 'artists' often perform work that even they themselves would not describe as 'art', using exactly the same toolset and techniques they would use to describe something they do hold to be 'art'. The great masters took lots of crappy commission work to keep the wolf from the door, and sometimes to finance work they really wished to do. Even so, some of that commission work is widely considered great art, where they themselves might have held it to be tripe. Similarly 'Mocap Mogul' by day may be 'Andy Animator' on weekends - using the same tools.

Lightwolf
03-24-2009, 01:58 PM
there's a discrepancy between what you're saying and what he's saying:


I see art as a terrible medium though which to convey messages. Words do a much better job.

he IS defining art by medium. note his contrast between what "art" does not do well vs. "words" which do.

No, not by medium, but as a medium. If you'd want to be fancy more as a meta-medium... art as a way to transport a message on/through a medium. And what transports messages? A medium.

So, in that case, the paint/canvas is the medium for the art (picture), the picture is the medium for the emotion/thoughts.

Cheers,
Mike

Mike_RB
03-24-2009, 02:00 PM
No, not by medium, but as a medium. If you'd want to be fancy more as a meta-medium... art as a way to transport a message on/through a medium. And what transports messages? A medium.

So, in that case, the paint/canvas is the medium for the art (picture), the picture is the medium for the emotion/thoughts.

Cheers,
Mike

He's saying pretty pictures tell a poorer story than text, if a message is your goal.

Lightwolf
03-24-2009, 02:01 PM
What does "the medium of art" actually mean, then? Anything creative? In that case, a game's programmer is as much an artist as the ones who make the graphics for said game.
Only if the programmer actually delivers a message that goes beyond the finished piece of software.

Mind you, what makes it tricky is the differentiation between an actual intention to bring across a message and the reception of said message.

Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
03-24-2009, 02:18 PM
He's saying pretty pictures tell a poorer story than text, if a message is your goal.
Oh, I know he's saying that - but that's only true if the actual message is what is literally written. And imho that is very arguable (as is with any piece of "art").

Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
03-24-2009, 02:19 PM
The great masters took lots of crappy commission work to keep the wolf from the door....
Hey, no reason to get personal here! :D :tongue:

Cheers,
Mike

Rod Seffen
03-24-2009, 02:54 PM
wtf? so literature is not art? poetry is not art? music is not art? architecture is not art? dance and drama are not art?

you have a problematic definition of art. you are taking a SUBSET of art and making it the complete domain.

jin


As I stated earlier, I'm talking about the visual arts here. Technically, you can refer to the method of doing anything as an art.
'The art of having a crap' for example is a perfectly valid phrase.
It's probably wise to limit the scope of the word here to the visual arts, and the visual arts are a poor way to convey any sort of complex message, since there's inevitably too much ambiguity, even of the artist is trying his hardest to be clear, he cannot expect 100 people to look at his work and see the same message. Whereas, even though words can be deliberately made ambiguous, it's possible to state an unequivocal message with them.
So if you goal is to transmit a message, then forget painting pictures, and use words. If you want to give people something nice, or even breathtaking to look at and admire, then paint a picture.
Art at best can ignite basic emotional states in the viewer. Trying to transmit anything more complex just becomes a vague ambiguous blur, and quite pointless. Why would you want to listen to some artist's thoughts on a moral or social issue anyway. It's no better than listening to Britney Spears' opinion.



Of course there are (artists who'd want to create their art by typing equations in a machine.) If it's their medium of choice to convey their artistic message. As can be any other medium.

Ok, let me recant and say I've never seen any art that's been produced by typing equations into a machine, so if there are any such artists they're keeping very quiet about it.


As Mike noted, there's no point in singleing out Houdini here.

Well the thread is about houdini, and my initial comments were about houdini, so it's already been singled out. My point was that it's more technical and anti-visual and anti-intuitive for visual artists compared to most CG apps, and wysiwyg is clearly what most artists would prefer instead of number crunching and node networking.
The trick is to combine wysiwyg with power and depth, and I don't think that's as impossible as some make is sound. Ideally the underlying computation should be invisible.
That is largely the case with digital sculpting.
Of course some branches of CG, such as fx and intrinsically more technical than artistic anyway, and they have no counterpart or ancestor in traditional art.
People who set up the fx and stunts for real in movies before Cg were not called artists.

coreguy
03-24-2009, 03:19 PM
Ok, let me recant and say I've never seen any art that's been produced by typing equations into a machine, so if there are any such artists they're keeping very quiet about it.

look up "fractals" on google...

Lightwolf
03-24-2009, 03:21 PM
Hey Rod, good to have you back :)

Art at best can ignite basic emotional states in the viewer. Trying to transmit anything more complex just becomes a vague ambiguous blur, and quite pointless.
An emotional state is a pretty good start... especially out of the blue.

Then again, I'd rather at least have that then a pointless pretty picture...

Ok, let me recant and say I've never seen any art that's been produced by typing equations into a machine, so if there are any such artists they're keeping very quiet about it.
Google mathematical art. The infamous Mandelbrot set is just the start.


My point was that it's more technical and anti-visual and anti-intuitive for visual artists compared to most CG apps, and wysiwyg is clearly what most artists would prefer instead of number crunching and node networking.
Yeah, but we've already established that there's only a few artists working in the field... and if that single 1% is too dumb to use Houdini then that's certainly not a reason for SideFX to change their app. :D :devil:

Cheers,
Mike

SBowie
03-24-2009, 04:32 PM
Hey, no reason to get peronal here! :D :tongue:
Hehehehe - caught me, Mike! :D

prometheus
03-24-2009, 05:18 PM
well itīs an interesting thread that now covers what is art and not, and who are artists or not, for me I can accept coders programmers as artist too But I rather talk about the facts of creativity in terms of Time,creation process and the ending results.

pulling vertexes around to create figures will probably be history from a couple of years from now, why is that?

Z-brush,mudbox and letīsay 3d coat are new tools with a more direct responsive interaction that letīs you sculpt out your figure way faster and more accurate to your vision than traditionally vertex pulling..thus saving time and getting the figure more close to your vision.( those tools still needs to be improved thou)

For houdini thereīs no argue about that, an artist can create amazing end results that can seem impossible to acheive with other software, but
thereīs always a price to pay either way you go and for houdini it might be a complex learning process and above all Time.

And yeah I have to nag about that I want an easier way to work with voxels in Houdini, I miss a hypervoxels interface for fast easy acess and tweaking.

Anyway Houdini rocks and I dive in to it from time to time when I have the Time..but sometimes I cant stand it and jump back in Lightwave again....faster results mostly, duhh..I need a TimeMachine.

Michael

Captain Obvious
03-24-2009, 05:21 PM
Only if the programmer actually delivers a message that goes beyond the finished piece of software.
Isn't the game a message in and of itself, though?




∂Ok, let me recant and say I've never seen any art that's been produced by typing equations into a machine, so if there are any such artists they're keeping very quiet about it.
I wasn't happy with the specularity on a recent project, so I ended up building a custom Cook Torrance shader and a new method for faking reflections. This is, for all intents and purposes, the same thing as a painter adding a little brushstroke here and a brushstroke there — with the key difference that I did it by feeding mathematical equations into Lightwave's node system.

jameswillmott
03-24-2009, 05:26 PM
Google mathematical art. The infamous Mandelbrot set is just the start.


But is it(the MB set) truely art, if it always existed and mathematicians just 'discovered' it? The formula that generates the set wasn't design to look beautiful, or be thought provoking, it is just a formula with interesting properties, but only interesting because we define them as such. And it happens to look nice. Like stars, flowers, or whatever.

But saying that, is chosing an attractive composition of the MB the art, rather than the subject itself? In much the same way that photograph can be considered art by some people.

jameswillmott
03-24-2009, 05:27 PM
Isn't the game a message in and of itself, though?

I wasn't happy with the specularity on a recent project, so I ended up building a custom Cook Torrance shader and a new method for faking reflections. This is, for all intents and purposes, the same thing as a painter adding a little brushstroke here and a brushstroke there — with the key difference that I did it by feeding mathematical equations into Lightwave's node system.

Yes, but the equation itself didn't result in 'art' any more than a paintbrush can result in art by itself. Yes?

Lightwolf
03-24-2009, 05:29 PM
Isn't the game a message in and of itself, though?
Not quite. If we stay within the analogy, the game is the painting, the movie, the piece of music.

Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
03-24-2009, 05:34 PM
But is it(the MB set) truely art, if it always existed and mathematicians just 'discovered' it? The formula that generates the set wasn't design to look beautiful, or be thought provoking, it is just a formula with interesting properties, but only interesting because we define them as such. And it happens to look nice. Like stars, flowers, or whatever.

But saying that, is chosing an attractive composition of the MB the art, rather than the subject itself? In much the same way that photograph can be considered art by some people.
I suppose you just answered your question. And if you actually try to center it on the message conveyed... then the medium nor the subject(!) makes any difference.
And booom, you end up with a blank piece of canvas as a piece of art (Something Rod is quite fond of :D ).

However, whichever way you define art... it would include mathematical art as well (which also takes a certain amount of skill and an eye beyond the formula).
Actually, if you generalize art as something "beautyful" then it's even easier to include maths, as any mathematician will tell you.

Cheers,
Mike

jameswillmott
03-24-2009, 05:47 PM
Actually, if you generalize art as something "beautyful" then it's even easier to include maths, as any mathematician will tell you.


Euler's Identity seems appropriate to bring up now...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/math/c/2/c/c2cc760385a6ef275c61dc193e6ceaea.png

Captain Obvious
03-24-2009, 05:53 PM
Not quite. If we stay within the analogy, the game is the painting, the movie, the piece of music.
I don't think the analogy works, though. What's a "message"? Art is, effectively, a way of communicating. Communication works by trying to create certain emotional responses. If there has been no attempt at creating any kind of emotional response, then there is no message, and one might argue that it's not art. However, a game does create an emotional response —*unless it's a really crappy game that nobody would ever play — and it thusly has a message. "Boo" certainly qualifies as a message as much as anything. If it conveys any kind of emotion, then it is communication, and anything that qualifies as communication also qualifies as art (because the two are indistinguishable in practical terms).



Yes, but the equation itself didn't result in 'art' any more than a paintbrush can result in art by itself. Yes?
The equation would, I guess, be the equivalent of a brush stroke. A single brush stroke is not a painting, but you can't make a painting without making said brush stroke.




But is it(the MB set) truely art, if it always existed and mathematicians just 'discovered' it? The formula that generates the set wasn't design to look beautiful, or be thought provoking, it is just a formula with interesting properties, but only interesting because we define them as such. And it happens to look nice. Like stars, flowers, or whatever.
Then you might as well argue that a sculpter working in marble didn't create the statue — he just found it inside the rock.

cresshead
03-24-2009, 06:36 PM
someone nudge me when this thread get's back on topic and not off on that f-a-r-t tangent.

jameswillmott
03-24-2009, 06:51 PM
The equation would, I guess, be the equivalent of a brush stroke. A single brush stroke is not a painting, but you can't make a painting without making said brush stroke.


Agreed




Then you might as well argue that a sculpter working in marble didn't create the statue — he just found it inside the rock.

Nice try, but that isn't quite the same. :) A better analogy would be a palaeontologist 'sculpting' a dinosaur by chipping the rock away from the fossil inside.

That's enough from me, back to Houdini...

Netvudu
03-24-2009, 07:15 PM
yeah, like the more I see people talking about Houdini as a "scientific" mysterious equation-based app, the more convinced I am those guys never actually used it...

Rod, just out of curiosity, did you ever actually try Houdini? Iīm not going to test your knowledge of the app, and will take your word from it, but all your comments make me think you never even tried it.
In the last few days, with the whole Core nodes thing going around, Iīve read several replies from people speaking about Houdini from what they read from someone else who never tried it either but knew someone who almost installed it once....you get the idea...

Seriously, if Houdini was the math-oriented genius-devised-for software that some people make it sound like, I wouldnīt be able to use it, because...frankly, my elder brother is the smart one and Iīm just the pretty face. ;)

PS: Iīm not supporting Houdiniīs cause. To each one its own. But people who never used something shouldnīt obviously give their opinions on it.

Rod Seffen
03-25-2009, 05:06 AM
Yes, I tried it a few years ago, and watched the tutorials at 3d buzz. While I have a basic knowledge of and can do basic work in most apps and they all seem quite intuitive (even max) the interface/workflow tutorials for houdini put me right off it.
Besides that, it's not primarily a modeling, sculpting, texturing, rendering app anyway, those are not the areas where it's better than other apps, so it's of little use to me.
What do you use it for?

cresshead
03-25-2009, 05:36 AM
Yes, I tried it a few years ago, and watched the tutorials at 3d buzz. While I have a basic knowledge of and can do basic work in most apps and they all seem quite intuitive (even max) the interface/workflow tutorials for houdini put me right off it.
Besides that, it's not primarily a modeling, sculpting, texturing, rendering app anyway, those are not the areas where it's better than other apps, so it's of little use to me.
What do you use it for?

yeah i watched the head modeling vids on houdini 8 from 3dbuzz and houdini8 looked awful...BUT also took a look at houdini 9 vids from 3dbuzz and it's changed quite a bit..much more approachable now...and not so head scratching quite logical and very powerful too...maybe time to have another look with the free version?

Rod Seffen
03-25-2009, 07:39 AM
I'm pretty sure is was 9 I was looking at.
If you're a TD I'm sure it's great, but I'm not.

Netvudu
03-25-2009, 08:53 AM
I guess in my current position you could consider me some sort of TD, but I already used Houdini before I was. The render engine is wonderful and can do some stuff that few engines can but requires work as opposed to LWīs which is very nice from the beginning.
I do use it primarily for effects, but anything regarding parametric animation is fantastic. Great rigginī tools as well. Nice UV tools. Dynamics are top notch.
I wouldnīt use it for organic modelling certainly, but next time you want to model a city or anything structurally complex youīre wasting your time not using Houdini.

Iīm getting curious now. I guess the problem is many people are still stuck at the "3d stills" stage and do not understand many of the issues when creating animation. I too (6 years ago +) thought that animation projects were just like stills but with longer rendering times...they arenīt.

I wonder why there seems to be such a big portion of the industry (or at least the forum-posting part of the industry) that judge 3d apps based on needs which tend to go from modelling, to painting/texturing then rendering and thatīs the end of it. Seems to me that they only have a partial experience regarding CGI, but ask for requests from full-blown 3d apps. Why? Just get ZBrush/Mudbox/3D Coat, Modo and off you go...

Iīm not dishing out anybodyīs work, but one cannot talk without experience on any given field/situation.

jin choung
03-25-2009, 11:53 AM
But is it(the MB set) truely art, if it always existed and mathematicians just 'discovered' it?

right. this would be tantamount to saying that a rose in and of itself is art. which it is not.

but that's not to say that math can't be used to create art. before many of our 3d apps came into widespread use, people WERE using math and programming for things like the MIND'S EYE videos.

and even today, a lot of procedural animations and fx are the result of expressions and programming and math.

also, a particular VISUALIZATION of the mandelbrot set MAY be art.

jin

Captain Obvious
03-25-2009, 05:30 PM
Nice try, but that isn't quite the same. A better analogy would be a palaeontologist 'sculpting' a dinosaur by chipping the rock away from the fossil inside.

No, I disagree. I've never seen a Sierpinski triangle happen randomly without human effort. It is created by someone's conscious effort, same as any other invention.

Rod Seffen
03-25-2009, 06:57 PM
I guess in my current position you could consider me some sort of TD, but I already used Houdini before I was. The render engine is wonderful and can do some stuff that few engines can but requires work as opposed to LWīs which is very nice from the beginning.
I do use it primarily for effects, but anything regarding parametric animation is fantastic. Great rigginī tools as well. Nice UV tools. Dynamics are top notch.
I wouldnīt use it for organic modelling certainly, but next time you want to model a city or anything structurally complex youīre wasting your time not using Houdini.

Iīm getting curious now. I guess the problem is many people are still stuck at the "3d stills" stage and do not understand many of the issues when creating animation. I too (6 years ago +) thought that animation projects were just like stills but with longer rendering times...they arenīt.

I wonder why there seems to be such a big portion of the industry (or at least the forum-posting part of the industry) that judge 3d apps based on needs which tend to go from modelling, to painting/texturing then rendering and thatīs the end of it. Seems to me that they only have a partial experience regarding CGI, but ask for requests from full-blown 3d apps. Why? Just get ZBrush/Mudbox/3D Coat, Modo and off you go...

Iīm not dishing out anybodyīs work, but one cannot talk without experience on any given field/situation.

You've summed up my point in the thread. For all the techncial stuff which is done by technically minded people, houdini's approach is great, but not for what I do. I don't think most people would look at a TD's job and say he's an artist producing art (let's say he assists artists in producing art), so my point about people who produce art wanting as intuitive and visual based an interface and workflow as possible, and abstracted as little as possible, does not apply to a TD and what he does.
Take hair plugins for example. No one really wants to mess around with endless panels of numbers and sliders and whatnot to get the exact render of hair they need. Sasquatch is quite an obtuse and abstract system to learn. I learned to use it because I had to, but I'd much rather have some visual system of constructing the hair where I can actually interact with it and grow it and colour it in real time.

Netvudu
03-26-2009, 04:30 AM
Rod....weīre clearly not in the same mind frame...or even dimension hahah :p I donīt really agree with you but Iīm hopeless about making you understand my views anymore ...oh well, to each one its own ;)

Lightwolf
03-26-2009, 04:49 AM
so my point about people who produce art wanting as intuitive and visual based an interface and workflow as possible, and abstracted as little as possible, does not apply to a TD and what he does.
I don't see much of a difference to be honest. You're just lucky that you work in an area that requires less abstraction then others. Add the notion of time as something to work with and automatically your brain will start to switch to an abstract mode (usually working in spatial metaphors, such as "before sunrise", "after the explosion").

I have to admit I've got a problem with the exclusion of technical stuff from artistry and vice versa. In that sense a TD trying to hit a visual target is just as little of an artist as a modeler trying to hit a target. The tools are different, but that's just about it. And as we all know, one should pick the best tool for the job.

Houdini might favour a more... planned approach to producing visuals - then again I've worked with (more traditional) artists that plan their visuals extremely well (almost to the level of a good accountant). That doesn't make them less of an artist (imho actually more of one as it tends to be more productive).

Cheers,
Mike

Rod Seffen
03-26-2009, 06:17 AM
Like I said, why is the title 'artist' so renowned and sought after anyway? When I suggest someone might not be an artist, we see a lot of indignant 'how dare you' responses.
There's nothing special about the visual arts, it's just creativity that's been harnessed and filtered though technical knowledge.
However, for me it's only 'art' when there is a good mix of both. I cannot appreciate art that is poor in technique, even if there are good creative ideas on display, and while I heartily admire technical mastery and prowess, I do not call the result art unless there is a good measure of creativity involved, and essentially it has to be the creativity that's the driving force and not technical concerns.
If an 'artist' plans his work like an accountant as you describe, is being too technical, depending too heavily on convention of what makes a good composition, colour theory, what needs to be expressed, the input of the client, how much effort to expend, time=money, etc, then the result, while perhaps admirable, is not art, it's craft.
Craftsmen and technicians have different concerns to pure artists. Someone who's only interest and driving force is visual creativity is not likely to want to wrestle with abstracted workflows and interfaces, all of which is simply getting in the way of his goal.

Lightwolf
03-26-2009, 06:51 AM
Like I said, why is the title 'artist' so renowned and sought after anyway? When I suggest someone might not be an artist, we see a lot of indignant 'how dare you' responses.
I've no idea why it is so renowned.. you keep bringing it up all the time (which surprises me as you do acknowledge yourself that none of these tasks are artistic in the first place).

There's nothing special about the visual arts, it's just creativity that's been harnessed and filtered though technical knowledge.
That goes for any creative task though, not just the "visual arts".

However, for me it's only 'art' when there is a good mix of both.
Which is actually quite different from your previous definition... but then that's art and 'art' - the question being which is which ;)

If an 'artist' plans his work like an accountant as you describe, is being too technical, depending too heavily on convention of what makes a good composition, colour theory, what needs to be expressed, the input of the client, how much effort to expend, time=money, etc, then the result, while perhaps admirable, is not art, it's craft.
I beg to differ. There's a difference between planning a piece of art and devising it. And just as you include technical knowledge, I include the actual planning to complete it.
Then again, I'd say that even in "proper" art, it's 90% sweat.

Craftsmen and technicians have different concerns to pure artists. Someone who's only interest and driving force is visual creativity is not likely to want to wrestle with abstracted workflows and interfaces, all of which is simply getting in the way of his goal.
Nobody wants to wrestle with anything that's in the way of achieving his goal.
A piece of software with a crappy UI, a buggy compiler, ink that smudges all over the place...

We're all a bunch of whimps in that regard, prefering to take the past of least resistance. Come to think of it, isn't some kind of struggle thought (by some) as being essential in producing "proper" art? ;)

I suppose I just see the whole issue a lot more general than you do.

Cheers
Mike

jasonwestmas
03-26-2009, 07:37 AM
Well, it's obvious isn't it? There are tools we need and those we don't. Then again we sometimes have to struggle to understand a tool before it begins to be useful and help us to achieve our goals faster or more accurately.

Rod Seffen
03-26-2009, 09:28 AM
We're all a bunch of whimps in that regard, prefering to take the past of least resistance. Come to think of it, isn't some kind of struggle thought (by some) as being essential in producing "proper" art? ;)

I suppose I just see the whole issue a lot more general than you do.

Cheers
Mike

Having an argument about art is like having an argument about god. The terms are so vague that before you start you should lay down clearly what you personally think the words mean.
As I said, for me art in it's purest sense has to be driven entirely by creative desire, even emotion (as Cezanne put it), when it becomes too technical and planned ('cold' rather than 'hot' if you like) it changes from art into craft, and they are quite different things.
So yes, I believe that very little of what is produced in the Cg world is art it it's purest sense.
Technique is something that should be learned thoroughly and then forgotten by an artist, if you have to consciously think about technicalities and the 'rules of successful art' while you're working, then you are not producing art. It's like playing a musical instrument, the technique gets stored in your subconscious and muscle memory, and you concentrate on musicality while playing.

Lightwolf
03-26-2009, 09:36 AM
Having an argument about art is like having an argument about god. The terms are so vague that before you start you should lay down clearly what you personally think the words mean.

Absolutely, there needs to be a common basis for discussion.

As I said, for me art in it's purest sense has to be driven entirely by creative desire, even emotion (as Cezanne put it), when it becomes too technical and planned ('cold' rather than 'hot' if you like) it changes from art into craft, and they are quite different things.

My definition of an artist is someone who's trying to convey some kind of message through the medium of art.
Am I thus correct in assuming that your definition of artist is not in any way related to actually producing art as by your definition?

Technique is something that should be learned thoroughly and then forgotten by an artist, if you have to consciously think about technicalities and the 'rules of successful art' while you're working, then you are not producing art. It's like playing a musical instrument, the technique gets stored in your subconscious and muscle memory, and you concentrate on musicality while playing.
Or like pressing hotkeys in any app... or typing code, writing, dancing, cooking, eating. Damn, I'm being generic again ;)

Cheers,
Mike

cresshead
03-26-2009, 10:35 AM
though completly off topic on houdini :D...regards the ART divergence subject this looked nifty...re the sculpt is already inside the rock..you just have to find it...

http://www.zbrushcentral.com/zbc/attachment.php?attachmentid=134435

jasonwestmas
03-26-2009, 10:47 AM
Technique is something that should be learned thoroughly and then forgotten by an artist, if you have to consciously think about technicalities and the 'rules of successful art' while you're working, then you are not producing art. It's like playing a musical instrument, the technique gets stored in your subconscious and muscle memory, and you concentrate on musicality while playing.

Yes that is the goal of creative thought, to be alone and without interruption by tools, the medium and the environment. Not to say you are wrong but unless you are copying something that has been done before, the tools, the medium, chance, and personal environment will will always impose themselves upon the work of art and transform it into a new and undiscovered territory of experience. So the main challenge really is to find that experience that most closely resembles one's own thoughts within the imagination. Personally I find that impossible and too rigid and too controlling. Reason is because the personal experience itself and emotion inside me has less to do with material alone but has more to do with dialogue. . .words, and how those words bring forth a context in a physical action, direction or abstract sensibility. And so I would choose to respond to the medium as much as the medium responds to me to create a vision that I have never imagined before. It seems more rewarding to me that way.

Technical tools are indeed very imposing on the final look of a CG image because most of the control in already built into the software or mechanisms. So to unlock something within the software to best mimic what you have already in your heart and mind through cryptic values and memorization of such can be very discouraging. Now I know that a 3D package will always be imposing no matter what but there is a middle ground however that is less imposing and i would like that happen in any
3D package.

Captain Obvious
03-26-2009, 05:04 PM
I don't think most people would look at a TD's job and say he's an artist producing art (let's say he assists artists in producing art), so my point about people who produce art wanting as intuitive and visual based an interface and workflow as possible, and abstracted as little as possible, does not apply to a TD and what he does.
I hardly find the opinion of the masses particularly relevant in the debate.



Take hair plugins for example. No one really wants to mess around with endless panels of numbers and sliders and whatnot to get the exact render of hair they need.
What's your qualifications for that statement?



As I said, for me art in it's purest sense has to be driven entirely by creative desire, even emotion (as Cezanne put it), when it becomes too technical and planned ('cold' rather than 'hot' if you like) it changes from art into craft, and they are quite different things.
This is a common mistake you're making. Every single thing done, ever, has been done because of emotion. Emotions are what makes us want to do things. They're the "active ingredient," if you will. If you take a human and dope 'em up to kill off the emotions, what do you think happens? Some kind of technically-minded superhuman who's good at accounting and using Houdini? Not quite — what happens is, quite simply, nothing. Without emotion, there is no initiative, no action.

There is no difference what-so-ever between the desire of a sculptor to create a statue of an image he has in his mind and the desire of an inventor to create a new metallic alloy, or the desire of a botanist to find new species, or indeed even the desire of a businessman to make money. These emotions are not similar, they are the same.

Every action ever undertaken by an individual (including other animals), is undertaken because of emotions.

If we then extrapolate your statement about art being things done solely for the joy of creation, I guess it means your definition of "art" are things which serve no practical purpose what-so-ever. However, do such things actually exist? To make an example: the practical function of clothing seems obvious: to protect us from our surroundings. I would however argue that the aesthetic aspects of clothing as just as practical, seeing how it's an integral part of human reproduction. The plumage on a peacock may not help them fly or fend off predators, but it fulfills the very practical purpose of attracting a mate. Similar things hold true for all things aesthetic. There is a common misconception that aesthetics are impractical and unnecessary, but I've never seen any sort of logical reasoning behind this idea. It seems to be something someone made up at some point, and it just stuck. It looks nice is just as much a practical matter as it keeps me warm.


ps. I apologize for the unorganized nature of this post. My mind is not quite with me tonight, I'm afraid.

Rod Seffen
03-27-2009, 05:43 AM
Every single thing done, ever, has been done because of emotion. Emotions are what makes us want to do things. They're the "active ingredient," if you will. If you take a human and dope 'em up to kill off the emotions, what do you think happens? Some kind of technically-minded superhuman who's good at accounting and using Houdini? Not quite — what happens is, quite simply, nothing. Without emotion, there is no initiative, no action.

There is no difference what-so-ever between the desire of a sculptor to create a statue of an image he has in his mind and the desire of an inventor to create a new metallic alloy, or the desire of a botanist to find new species, or indeed even the desire of a businessman to make money. These emotions are not similar, they are the same.

Every action ever undertaken by an individual (including other animals), is undertaken because of emotions.

If we then extrapolate your statement about art being things done solely for the joy of creation, I guess it means your definition of "art" are things which serve no practical purpose what-so-ever. However, do such things actually exist? To make an example: the practical function of clothing seems obvious: to protect us from our surroundings. I would however argue that the aesthetic aspects of clothing as just as practical, seeing how it's an integral part of human reproduction. The plumage on a peacock may not help them fly or fend off predators, but it fulfills the very practical purpose of attracting a mate. Similar things hold true for all things aesthetic. There is a common misconception that aesthetics are impractical and unnecessary, but I've never seen any sort of logical reasoning behind this idea. It seems to be something someone made up at some point, and it just stuck. It looks nice is just as much a practical matter as it keeps me warm.

This is a common mistake you're making.




It's not a mistake I made, it's a mistake you made in reading what I said.
Perhaps you should consider strategically inserting and extra 'li' into your nickname..
All actions may begin with an emotion, a desire, but what happens after that point, what happens between the initial thought and the final product is what makes the difference between it being pure art, or a coldly designed work of craft.
If you want to physically create a thought, an emotion, a desire, then there's a hell of a lot of obstacles in the way, you start getting bogged down in technicalities and the limitations of the real world.
When we move into the CG world, the obstacles become the interface and workflow that you're presented with. Everything seems designed to force you to start making cold rational decisions at every point, applying logical thought to every action, and this is the antithesis of pure art, and as a result, Cg is virtually never real art. This is why no real artist would want to be faced with a bank of number boxes and sliders when it comes to producing hair. Most CG is only art in that vague sense that most people assume the word means, in the sense where almost everything can be art (and therefore nothing is art)
You're correct, pure art has no practical purpose whatsoever. Things with practical purpose have to be coldly designed using rules of logic, heavily restricted to practical limitations.
Sure, you can take something like an item of clothing, start with it's basic utilitarian function, and then tack on a slightly different visual style within the limitation of that function, but that is clearly not art. It's too restricted and dependant on logical consideration.
Design is NOT the same thing as art.


Am I thus correct in assuming that your definition of artist is not in any way related to actually producing art as by your definition?

Artists are both people who try to convey some message through visual imagery, and people who produce pure art. It's not unusual in English for words to have more than one meaning, in fact it's the norm for most common words, and one meaning does not exclude the other.

Lightwolf
03-27-2009, 05:54 AM
Artists are both people who try to convey some message through visual imagery, and people who produce pure art.
What do you see as "pure art" then? Pretty visuals? (what I'd call decoration).

It's not unusual in English for words to have more than one meaning, in fact it's the norm for most common words, and one meaning does not exclude the other.
Now now, no need to get patronizing, is there? ;) I'm quite aware of the intricacies inherent to language based communication.
Which is why we need to define what we're talking about (as you've said yourself) - and then also stick to those definitions at least for the sake of the current discussion.

Cheers,
Mike

Captain Obvious
04-02-2009, 07:53 AM
It's not a mistake I made, it's a mistake you made in reading what I said.
Perhaps you should consider strategically inserting and extra 'li' into your nickname..
Because it's certainly not possible to argue a point without sticking a few insults in your arguments here and there.



All actions may begin with an emotion, a desire, but what happens after that point, what happens between the initial thought and the final product is what makes the difference between it being pure art, or a coldly designed work of craft.
"Coldly designed"? Such a thing does not exist. Design requires thought. Thought is a subset of emotion. The idea that an engineer has less passion about his craft than a classical painter is, quite frankly, preposterous.




If you want to physically create a thought, an emotion, a desire, then there's a hell of a lot of obstacles in the way, you start getting bogged down in technicalities and the limitations of the real world.
Of course. That's down to skill, though.



When we move into the CG world, the obstacles become the interface and workflow that you're presented with. Everything seems designed to force you to start making cold rational decisions at every point, applying logical thought to every action, and this is the antithesis of pure art, and as a result, Cg is virtually never real art.
Rationality is not cold. You cannot make a decision on anything unless you attach emotion to the various options. Even simple things, like "should I run away and live or should I stay and die" requires you to desire to live, otherwise the decision is pointless and inertia will have the final say. A CG content creator choosing to use Screen mode instead of Add mode might come to that decision because of rational thought about the mathematics involved in the two (or by swapping between them and deciding on a favorite), but it is still the emotions attached to the end result that makes the decision relevant, and indeed even possible.

I would also argue that everything involving any kind of skill requires rational thought. Computer graphics is more difficult than many other fields, yes, and requires a higher degree of concentration and whatnot, but that does not mean that you can paint a picture or create a sculpture or take a photo without any kind of rationality behind it.



You're correct, pure art has no practical purpose whatsoever. Things with practical purpose have to be coldly designed using rules of logic, heavily restricted to practical limitations.
Is there anything in existence that completely lacks purpose? I cannot think of anything. Any endeavour has some kind of purpose to it, even if it's just the spur of the moment or fulfilling your genetic imperatives or what have you. An item created for the sheer joy of creation has the same degree of purpose to it as an item created for anything else.



Sure, you can take something like an item of clothing, start with it's basic utilitarian function, and then tack on a slightly different visual style within the limitation of that function, but that is clearly not art. It's too restricted and dependant on logical consideration.
Don't you see, though? The visual style is a core component of its basic utilitarian function.

wsantiago
04-03-2009, 08:21 PM
Powerful, but far too complex for little old me.

If Core ends up being a clone of that, it'll be bye bye from me then.

LightWave always followed the philosophy of "powerful tools, just like the bigs boys, but cheaper, and easier to use".

It's what made LightWave successful, the day NT move away from that, that's the day they lose what made them unique.

Excellent point. Agree.

prometheus
04-04-2009, 11:03 AM
Excellent point. Agree.

Yeah thatīs pretty much it, I believe core probably will be a little more complex thou, but if they are careful, hopefully they can reduce the complexity to a minimum, but it will always be a balance.

Houdini will of course improve on user friendlyness too, I was absolutly terrified with the user interface back in version seven, I just looked at it and said..Never Im gonna fiddle with that.
Now itīs a totally different story, much better but still needs improvement.

On example of simplicity to acess things is volumetrics like hypervoxels, I would probably kiss someones feet (if washed) over at sideeffects if they could improve on the whole shading system acessability, Your up to speed in no time with hypervoxels in lightwave since itīs a singel modular ui interface adapted for itīs purpose, doing it in houdini isnīt that fast and easy, more power in houdini but not easy and fast.

On the other hand they have started to improve UI by adding different shelf tools so many other things are faster and easier in houdini to set up
than in lightwave by simple sort your tools in your shelf as you want them and use text or icons as you want.

Michael

Captain Obvious
04-04-2009, 07:28 PM
oudini will of course improve on user friendlyness too, I was absolutly terrified with the user interface back in version seven, I just looked at it and said..Never Im gonna fiddle with that.
Now itīs a totally different story, much better but still needs improvement.
I don't want to sound like I'm on SideFX's payroll or anything, but what is it that needs improvement about the Houdini user interface as of the latest version?




On example of simplicity to acess things is volumetrics like hypervoxels, I would probably kiss someones feet (if washed) over at sideeffects if they could improve on the whole shading system acessability, Your up to speed in no time with hypervoxels in lightwave since itīs a singel modular ui interface adapted for itīs purpose, doing it in houdini isnīt that fast and easy, more power in houdini but not easy and fast.
Well yeah, that's the thing. It's not a matter of "ease of use," because it depends on what you're trying to do. Houdini is, by its very nature, a bit less direct in its approach. This is no a UI issue. Lightwave's Hypervoxels are limited but relatively accessible, whereas Houdini's are the other way around. You can't magick it away with UI trickery.

Mike_RB
04-04-2009, 07:30 PM
I don't want to sound like I'm on SideFX's payroll or anything, but what is it that needs improvement about the Houdini user interface as of the latest version?


A way to visually graph the connections made with expressions would be pretty nice. It's unfortunate that this part, which does most of the killer cross connecting is totally without a visual representation.

prometheus
04-04-2009, 08:08 PM
I don't want to sound like I'm on SideFX's payroll or anything, but what is it that needs improvement about the Houdini user interface as of the latest version?




Well yeah, that's the thing. It's not a matter of "ease of use," because it depends on what you're trying to do. Houdini is, by its very nature, a bit less direct in its approach. This is no a UI issue. Lightwave's Hypervoxels are limited but relatively accessible, whereas Houdini's are the other way around. You can't magick it away with UI trickery.

I disagree with you, thereīs no magick tricks at work here, they can surely introduce a voxels toolset with designated volumetric voxels in the shelfe panel and write it that way so it(the parameters) already has most basic parts already setup, how to tweak it and change it to your liking is something else thou.


Ohh and for user interface and improvements, well one example could be
that I find it kinda hard to get on grips on the different selection modes and would prefer a different kind of UI for that part, more like a lightwave selection mode wich feels easier to swap between different modes and they arenīt hidden like houdinis selection options feels like.

Michael

Captain Obvious
04-05-2009, 04:12 AM
A way to visually graph the connections made with expressions would be pretty nice. It's unfortunate that this part, which does most of the killer cross connecting is totally without a visual representation.
Hmm, yes, that would be nice actually. On the other hand, I rather appreciate the fact that you can have connections that don't show up, as well. My LW node shaders often get hard to use because of all the crisscrossing of connected nodes.



I disagree with you, thereīs no magick tricks at work here, they can surely introduce a voxels toolset with designated volumetric voxels in the shelfe panel and write it that way so it(the parameters) already has most basic parts already setup, how to tweak it and change it to your liking is something else thou.
True, but why should they spend valuable development time doing that, when the Houdini users can build Assets for that themselves, and share them? It reminds me of an old Luxology video where Brad Peebler shows off the toolpipe. He combines an airbrush falloff with a vertex extrusion and builds a "spikey painting tool," and says that if someone added a feature request for such a thing, it'd probably be at the bottom of the priority list. I guess the same holds true for things in Houdini.

prometheus
04-05-2009, 08:02 AM
True, but why should they spend valuable development time doing that, when the Houdini users can build Assets for that themselves, and share them? It reminds me of an old Luxology video where Brad Peebler shows off the toolpipe. He combines an airbrush falloff with a vertex extrusion and builds a "spikey painting tool," and says that if someone added a feature request for such a thing, it'd probably be at the bottom of the priority list. I guess the same holds true for things in Houdini.

well thats a question for the sideeffects team probably, either they can and will or if thereīs already made as an, asset no problems, but if thereīs not available it could be a hint that it might be worth working at, it seems to me that some tools have been made more built in with node networks setup for easier and faster acess and handling, than they were before.

and why wouldnīt they make houdini easier to use?..well I just donīt follow you on that thought.

Edit..ohh..yeah forgot, well getting access to volumetrics isnīt just an extra nifty tool to be added, with regards to what you mentioned about spikey painting tool.
It is more of those standard setups like lighting camera, motions etc...but of course depends on your own view perhaps, but for me Its considered more as a standard.

Michael